Charlie Dye ( 1906 – 1972 )

The Fence Rider, 1958 | 16 x 20 | oil on board | contact gallery


Charlie Dye’s legacy as a premier Western artist was not something he would ever have imagined growing up with a father who had little regard for artists.  However, Dye’s interest in art began as a child sketching anything that caught his interest.  Growing up in Colorado, Dye worked as a cowboy in the local area, Arizona, and California.  During this time he suffered a serious accident from his participation in a rodeo, where he remained in the hospital for several months.  It was during his hospital stay that he saw a Charles Russell print and decided that he would pursue art as his career.

After Dye won a sizable amount of money from a bet, his sister offered to match the amount if he would agree to go to art school. Dye accepted his sister’s offer and his training included two of the most prestigious art institutions in the United States; the American Academy of Art and the Art Institute of Chicago.  He also went on to receive instruction from legendary American illustrator Harvey Dunn.  Dye’s skill and training allowed him to do illustrations for such important publications as The Saturday Evening PostCollier’s, and Argosy among many others.  After having toured the Western U.S. in the fifties and experiencing the growth in popularity of Western art, Dye decided to start painting Western scenes and received immediate acceptance.

With increasing success, Dye and his family moved to Sedona, Arizona in the early sixties.  It was in 1965 that he along with Joe Beeler, John Hampton, and George Phippen founded the now famous Cowboy Artists of America at the Oak Creek Tavern in Sedona. Dye went on to earn one gold and one silver award for oil painting in 1967 and 1971 at the Cowboy Artists of America annual show and sale.  His work is in the permanent collections of the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis, The Rockwell Museum in Corning, New York, the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahmoma City, and the Woolaroc Museum in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.